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US and India Co-Host Summit Focusing on Women

For a long time, women have taken a backseat in the advancement of society. They have most often been the housewives, secretaries, and teachers, rather than the visionaries appreciated by people worldwide. Times, however, are changing. No longer are women content to stay in the background, and rightfully so. Their recent surge of involvement with societal breakthroughs sends a message to the world that cannot be ignored: women can change the world just as well as men can.

It’s something that the global powers of the world are working to recognize, and one of their efforts comes from this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). The GES is a yearly summit hosted by the United States that works to showcase different entrepreneurs and connect them with potential start-up companies; it also offers a series of talks, pitch competitions, and networking opportunities designed to aid said start-up companies in their journeys to one day become successful.

In recent years, the GES has been held in places such as Kuala Lumpur, Nairobi, Marrakesh, Istanbul, and Silicon Valley. This year, the United States and India are bringing the GES to Hyderabad, India for a three-day summit in November. The theme will be “Women First, Prosperity for All.”

The summit will be headlined by Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and United States presidential advisor Ivanka Trump. According to an official statement, “There will be special emphasis on empowering young and women entrepreneurs and the role they play in making communities more prosperous and secure through enterprise.” This is the first time the summit will be held in South Asia, and Hyderabad is an ideal city thanks to numerous large companies that reside there, as well as the prominent presence of technology in the area.

During the summit, participants will have the chance to participate in three types of classes. There are Breakouts, where panelists discuss key themes and innovative industries being covered during the summit; Master Classes, which are immersive and focus specifically on certain topics; and Workshops, which are more hands-on and invite interactive conversations on pre-chosen topics. There will be four overarching industries the summit will focus on: healthcare and life sciences, digital economy and financial technology, energy and infrastructure, and media and entertainment.

The summit is a unique opportunity for start-up companies, especially for those run by women. “We need to harness technology to solve some of the most pressing problems in healthcare delivery, education, energy, safe drinking water and agriculture, among others for the benefit of communities at large,” says Amitabh Kant, the CEO of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI). “Innovation and entrepreneurship will play a decisive role towards this end. I am sure this will be a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to interact with the best.”

Considering India’s societal attitude toward women, the partnership with the US on the GES is surprising. However, the fact that India is co-hosting the summit demonstrates its willingness to move toward change, both in its own views and in wanting to contribute to making a difference globally. With the number of women looking to make their marks on the world, there will surely be no shortage of hopefuls at this year’s summit.

Featured Image by GES 2016 on Flickr

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